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Instead of doing a book review of Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan for Burning Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike, I thought I’d actually take the book out for a test drive. A looooooong test drive. I’m going to follow the recommendations of author Selene Yeager (aka Fit Chick), in an attempt to lose the extra 50 pounds that I am tired of carrying around on my bike. This will test Fit Chick’s program, enabling me to recommend this book if it works.
NOT just for Fit Chicks
First off, let me point out that Fit Chick’s program is NOT just for women. In fact, it’s for relatively fit people of all varieties – actually, if you’re really out of shape, I think you’d have to get a lot fitter just to START this program. In short, it’s a macho enough program for most people, the author’s nom de plume notwithstanding. Of course, there are also books aimed at those who mainly want to win races, and at the over-fifties – all sold by my resourceful affiliate, Amazon.
Fit Chick’s program comprises diet, resistance exercise and (of course) cycling. I haven’t got around to reading the diet bit yet, so more on that later. (In the meantime I am making a start by doing the no-brainer stuff, like ditching the post-dinner “healthy” frozen yoghurt.)
The Cycling Component of Fit Chick’s Ride Your Lean program: Day One
Yesterday was my first day of the program. Monday’s are “rest days” for the cycling part, so that was easy! No seriously, I cycled to work anyway, so I got an hour of cycling in. As I don’t really count bike commuting as exercise, I decided I might as well get a jump on the program by doing the first day of the resistance exercise component of the program.
The Exercises: Day One
So off I went to our company’s gym at lunchtime (I am lucky enough to work for a company that has a fairly well equipped gym right next to the lunchroom. My aim for this year is to spend more time in the gym than the lunchroom.)
Usually in the gym I do a lot of my two favorite exercises: bench presses and dead lifts. But as I’m on Fit Chick’s program, I did a whole lot of different exercises (I compromised by doing one set of Fit Chick exercises, then one set of bench presses, then back to Fit Chick, and so on).
I have to say I liked the exercises. They target legs and core, both of which I know are really important for better cycling. I hurt muscles I rarely even notice I have, and felt well pleased with myself. In fact, I came home and shared the program with Maggie, who is now excited to try it too. I am only on the first of three progressively more difficult collections of exercises, and I think this first lot will keep me going pretty well for the next six weeks or so (in combination with fun exercises like bench presses and dead lifts, of course).
The Cycling Component of Fit Chick’s Ride Your Way Lean programme: Day Two
So today I did my very first cycling workout. After I biked home from work, I ditched my commuter and switched over to my Norco Storm, to head off to cycle intervals on the Central Valley Greenway. I have always scorned intervals, as I think riding on the street has built in intervals (called uphill’s and downhill’s). However, I gave it a try (having retrieved my old heart rate monitor from where it was gathering dust in the garage).
I did three sets of 8 minutes cycling at the “Steady” rate (around 70% of maximum heart rate), interspersed with 5-minute rest intervals. I really enjoyed it! And when I checked my Garmin records after I got home, I figured out I had been cycling faster than usual. I concluded that going out to actually do a cycling workout had:
- Kept me interested.
- Got me to bike for an extra 40 minutes, nearly doubling my exercise for the day.
- Forced me to cycle faster, rather than just ambling along and smelling the roses (usually I only go fast if there is someone to race, or if I am trying to show up motorists by cruising past them as they sit in traffic gridlock).
So my initial verdict after two whole days on the Ride Your Way Lean program is Thumbs Up. For less than $15 from Amazon, this is by far the best ride your way lean book I have ever read. At this point, I feel ready to follow it for a few months and see if I can lose some fat and gain some muscle. Click here to find out how it’s working for me in Part 2 of this post!
And here’s a post on Mrs. Average Joe Cyclist’s very successful weight loss with cycling.
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